A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1851), Samuel Lewis


LOGIE-BUCHAN, a parish, in the district of ELLON, county of ABERDEEN, 2 miles (E. by S.) from Ellon; containing 713 inhabitants. The word Logie, expressive of "a low-lying spot", was given to this place on account of its applicability to the tract in which the church is situated; while the affix is descriptive of the position of the parish in that part of the county called Buchan. Logie-Buchan is separated on the east from the German Ocean by the parish of Slains, and is intersected by the river Ythan, which crosses it in the centre in an eastern direction, and after dividing it into two nearly equal parts, falls into the sea about three miles below the church. This river, the Ituna of ancient geographers, and at one time celebrated for its valuable pearls, has four small tributary streams here, two of which separate the parish on the north from Ellon, Cruden, and Slains, and two on the south from Ellon, Udny, and Foveran. The length of that portion of the parish in the northern quarter is three miles and three-quarters, and of that in the southern five and three-quarters; the breadth of the whole varies from three-quarters of a mile to three miles. The entire district comprises 6600 acres, the number of which under tillage is 5900, and in plantation sixty; the remainder is uncultivated. The surface is in general level, and the highest hills reach an elevation of only 130 or 140 feet above the sea. The principal feature in the scenery is the Ythan, which enters the locality through a range of rocks, where there is a fine echo, and an opening called the "Needle's Eye": beyond this point, at which its breadth is not more than fifty yards, it widens till it reaches the breadth of about 600 yards at high water, and forms a noble basin. The river abounds with various kinds of trout, also with salmon, eels, flounders, and mussels; and pearls are still occasionally found. It has a ferry opposite the parish church, where its breadth at low water is about sixty yards; and two boats are kept, one for general passengers, and the other, a larger boat, for the conveyance of the parishioners to church from the northern side. A tradition has long prevailed that the largest pearl in the crown of Scotland was obtained in the Ythan; and it appears that, about the middle of the last century, £100 were paid by a London jeweller to a gentleman in Aberdeen, for pearls found in the river. The pearl-fishery was formerly confined by patent, but this privilege was withdrawn by an act of parliament of the reign of Charles I.

The SOIL, which in some parts is clayey, produces oats, bear, turnips, potatoes, and grass for pasture and hay. Many improvements in agriculture have been introduced within the present century, including the rotation of crops and other approved usages; the scythe has taken the place of the sickle in reaping, and most of the old farm-houses with thatched roofs have been succeeded by others, two stories high, built of stone and lime, and covered with slate. Oats and turnips are the principal crops: the former are of excellent quality, chiefly in consequence of the great care taken in the choice of seed; the latter are much indebted to the plentiful application of bone-manure. The influence of steam-navigation on the interests of agriculture has been here most powerfully felt; and the facility of communication with the London market thus afforded has given a decided impulse to the breeding and fattening of cattle, which in general are crosses with the short-horned breed. The annual value of real property in the parish is £3178. A mansion has lately been built in the Elizabethan style, on the estate of Auchmacoy, the property of James Buchan, Esq., whose ancestors, from a very early period, have been located here, and were conspicuous in the political convulsions of several reigns, and, with the other chief proprietors of the parish, advocated the cause of the crown in opposition to the Covenanters. Most of the inhabitants of the district are employed in agricultural pursuits, a small brick-work recently established being the only exception. The great north road from Aberdeen passes through the parish, and the mail and other public coaches travel to and fro daily. On another road, leading to the shipping-port of Newburgh, the tenantry have a considerable traffic in grain, lime, and coal, the last procured from England, and being the chief fuel. The river Ythan is navigable for lighters often or twelve tons' burthen at high water. The marketable produce of the parish is sent to Aberdeen. Logie-Buchan is ecclesiastically in the presbytery of Ellon, synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of Mr. Buchan: the minister's stipend is about £192, with a manse, and a glebe of six acres, valued at £12. 10. per annum. The church was built in 1787, and contains 400 sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches: the master has a salary of £25. 13., with a house, and £9. 7. fees; he also partakes in the Dick bequest.

[From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1851) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]